A bisexual student shares his experiences of living in the South West of England and attending an all boy’s school – where it can be very hard to be open about your sexuality.
I’m 16 and I live in the South West. I’ve identified as bisexual for the last six months or so, but I haven’t told anyone apart from one or two people. None of my family knows. None of my teachers know. I doubt many of my friends have questioned me about it either. The reasons behind me writing this are not all that trivial. For the last few years I’ve been attending a public secondary school, an all boy’s school, and well, you could imagine it already, ‘Oh he’s stuck in the company of other boys, he’s bound to try something or another.’ And okay, I admit, it sounds scripted, but that may have been a factor. And indeed it might have been a factor in a lot of gay males out there today.
But what you get at an all boys school, particularly a public one, you get a lot of idiots, and all manner of intolerance and discrimination to go with it. And I have seen that from not only other kids but from teachers as well. Looking back, I’m glad I didn’t open up about my sexuality, and I’m glad I didn’t scream it out either, knowing what’s out there, the bullshit that a lot of LGBT people receive every day, from school and everywhere else.
Now at this point I will address that there was one semi-out kid in secondary, in my year. Okay he had mates, but they were this group of what a lot of people would call social outcasts. Now this guy always had a smile on his face, he was beaming, and he liked who he was and liked what he did, and you could see he had no problem with most of us, in fact a lot of the ‘normal’ kids enjoyed his company, but one thing let him down. He was in a number of lower-ability classes, which he didn’t like. Indeed I was in some lower-ability classes myself, and you could always, always single out the group of assholes who would start the hate. They were in every single class and you couldn’t avoid them if you tried.
And here they’d go, shouting all the usual things like poof, faggot, and queer.
But you can’t stop these idiots. Detentions and suspensions don’t do jack shit with these people.
Well, if you can’t stop them, you might as well join them, at least if you were a teacher at that place. If the poof, faggot and queer would say something back to these idiots, oh now they were in trouble now weren’t they. No it’s not their fault.
It’s the same story everywhere. Not just with gays and the like, but anyone who’s different in the slightest. Different accent, different hair, different body language, different ability, the list goes on.
And that is why a lot of us remain quiet. We remain quiet because we know if we do eek a bit of who we are, then we’d been subject to an all manner of shit, and understandably, I truly respect those who have the strength to come out to their friends, family or colleagues, because they could be putting themselves up to all sorts of shit that might come their way. I hear a lot when (usually straight) people say, ‘oh it’s so easy to come out’, and I’m quick to doubt whether they’ve ever tried. Come on, it’s what every gay person thinks about, whether they decide to come out or not. It’s a big thing for anyone, I’m certain.
The thing is that we are being taught by all sorts of people that it’s okay to single out people who are not like you. Even watching the news, or these ‘entertainment’ shows. People can get away with all sorts, racism, sexism and of course homophobia, and yet it can go unnoticed to a lot of people, and they could take that upon themselves. It’s in human’s nature to conform, to fit in. Why do politicians all wear suits and ties? It’s effectively the same argument. You’re not going to get the Prime Minister walk into the House of Commons wearing a hoodie and jeans, although how many of us would pay to see that now? Exactly.
All I’m hoping for is that soon, we as people can rid themselves of these demons, and to tackle all the intolerance and discrimination that has become so commonplace among society these days. We don’t want to be afraid for ourselves, it’s a desire to be free of ridicule and hate. I see this system where nothing is being done to tackle discrimination targeted not only towards gays and all but towards an all manner of people. Remember we’re not the only ones who feel for our welfare, for our freedom. We’re a band of people, real people, linked with that mutual aim. And then we can be free.
That’d be a good day, but then again, it might rain then.